- 91% of manufacturers agree that marketing is their high priority to drive leads and grow business.
- Transitioning to new marketing and lead generation techniques is one of the key challenges for manufacturing businesses.
- Leveraging the website, digital marketing tactics, and other innovative technology can help you generate more leads.
A recent study reveals 76% of manufacturing companies rely on third-party digital marketing agencies.
On the other hand, manufacturers who don’t rely on third-party agencies expect to increase their marketing budget in the coming years.
Because 91% of manufacturers agree that marketing is their high priority.
Every data point to only one thing that manufacturing companies have understood the importance of marketing and industrial lead generation after COVID-19 but lack in-house talent.
And that’s what we will try to solve in this article.
You’ll find 9 simple tactics for lead generation for manufacturers that too in the most cost-effective way possible.
7 common lead generation challenges faced by manufacturing companies
Most companies have designed a marketing plan, yet they face issues with sustainable lead generation. These are common challenges you need to fix to generate potential leads.
1. Transitioning to new marketing and lead generation techniques
Manufacturers face a unique business challenge upon switching to the current technological landscape.
The older generation has followed traditional marketing techniques and may have gotten great results.
Many times, sales heads take care of marketing at manufacturing firms.
At the same time, a new generation is entering the field with a digital-first approach.
The conflict happens when these two generations have to work together in harmony.
Often manufacturing companies fail to find common ground between these two generations of mindset people.
The best way to solve this conflict is to – sit together and find the pros and cons of what can work in marketing TODAY!
You can ask the following questions to the team and lead the discussion:
- What are the best marketing campaigns we have had?
- Why did our marketing campaigns work in the past?
- Is customer psychology still the same as 10 years ago?
- Can we learn from past experience and implement the lessons on new digital techniques?
So, clarity among the team regarding why we are taking this approach will ease the process of lead generation for manufacturers.
2. The manufacturing companies still don’t take marketing data seriously
Data is the currency to make sound business decisions. It’s one of the bases of modern marketing.
Whether you try email marketing, offer gated content, or wish to check conversions with web forms, data is the basis of all activities.
Not having a dedicated database to manage your leads can make you lose track of where they stand in your sales funnel.
Plus, it’s a big blow to your marketing analysis and strategy creation.
Introducing a powerful tool like CRM can be a solution for effective contact management and streamlining business communications.
3. Reaching out to the right audience
Having a clear idea of your buyer persona and buyer’s journey can help you find important channels where your target audience is present.
Most manufacturing firms are unaware of what a buyer persona can do and how it can help them choose their dream marketing channel.
The first job is to create a buyer persona.
Mind you, creating a persona is a bit complex, and it includes a rooted thought process.
A buyer persona answers two questions:
- Who is our best historical customer?
- Do we still want to sell to them?
Tools like CRM or Google Analytics will give you detailed insights into the demography, age, gender, and interests of your current leads and past customers.
Next, you must experiment with all the channels using the buyer persona and find the perfect one for your business.
When these two things are clear, you will easily solve the problem of reaching out to the right audience.
4. Not able to choose the right social media strategy
Most manufacturer businesses refrain from social media as they lack the adequate knowledge to implement accurate strategies.
But it’s not as complicated as you think.
Also, manufacturers have succumbed to myths like:
- their targeted prospects don’t access social media
- their products aren’t visually appealing for these social platforms
- manufacturers don’t find social platforms to be a viable solution for selling their products
Having a presence on these social channels is important as it offers benefits such as:
- increased brand awareness and reach (more on this in the next section)
- promoting your brand as a thought leader
- instill trust in your prospect’s mind by humanizing your brand
Here’s a great resource on how manufacturers can leverage social platforms to grow their brands like a pro!
5. Understanding & demonstrating the value of their products
Industrial products are, at times, complex to understand.
Due to this, there is an increased chance of prospects not understanding it as simple as selling an Amazon Prime membership.
Also, in this era of the internet, your potential customers have already researched what they want.
Now, if they get to your website or blog and find confusing, irrelevant, or poor-quality content, they will likely not be willing to purchase.
As per this report, about 38% of users would leave a website if its content or layout is unattractive.
Manufacturing businesses do not focus on the importance of a great website.
So many manufacturers’ websites still look like this:
Buying behavior is changing. A phone number is not enough. People trust businesses with good websites.
So firstly, it’s essential to have a good-looking website for lead generation.
6. Not leveraging content marketing to its fullest potential
In the simplest sense, content marketing is distributing the right content at the right time and places.
There are multiple ways through which manufacturers can distribute content.
You might have heard about guest blogging. But, unfortunately, that’s nothing but content marketing.
So, how can you leverage content marketing to its fullest potential?
Ask yourself these questions before creating any content:
- Where will I post this content?
- Is the publication where I’m publishing the content relevant to my business? Do relevant people visit this publication?
- Is there a possibility of branding through this content?
- Can a relevant audience recognize my brand?
- Is there a possibility of a future customer?
If the answers are positive, you’re heading in the right direction.
Related read: 7 Ways to Leverage Content Marketing for Lead Generation
7. Outdated tools and technology
Manufacturers still have to adopt modern tools for data collection.
Maintaining spreadsheets to measure marketing performance isn’t the right way to track engagement anymore.
Organizations will have to invest in useful tools like marketing automation and CRM software sooner or later.
A robust CRM lets manufacturers.
- To keep track of customers and their order history
- To communicate via omnichannel for better business relations
- To have better supply chain visibility with a sales pipeline
- To plan their production and sales effectively with accurate sales forecasting
Leveraging a CRM will improve your services and product quality based on sales reports and customer interaction.
This will translate to more rapid product improvements.
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9 Tactical tips to power up lead generation for manufacturers
Lead generation for manufacturers is challenging when you lack how to get started. However, with these 11 tactics, you can create a lead list to target for sales.
1. A high-quality website with the right landing pages
40% of B2B buyers in a survey responded that a supplier’s website matters a lot to growing their business.
Here are some more reasons why an up-to-date website matters in the manufacturing industry:
Along with the fundamental elements of a website (Homepage, About Us, Service Page, Contact Us page), here are a few things that help you stand out among your competitors:
- Responsive web design for all types of digital devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile)
- Try to offer a great user experience, like responsive web design that works on every device
- Audience-focused and SEO-optimized content
- Attractive and engaging images
- Relevant landing pages that can help you in lead generation
- Clear and value drive calls to action (CTAs)
- A chatbot/live chat tool plug to engage and capture leads directly from the website
Note that you can direct prospects to your landing page from any marketing channels you’ve targeted.
So, you must use content that delivers the most value to prospects and prompts them to share their details by filling out your Web Form.
2. Create offers that entice leads at different buying stages
Not every website visitor is ready to get converted initially.
Moreover, the right approach, offers, and efforts can help you reach interested prospects.
Manufacturing companies must create valuable content to offer value to leads at the sales process’s awareness stage.
As leads at the top of your buying cycle will be more interested in the information/educational resource.
Content types such as eBooks, guides, newsletters, and branding on the LinkedIn platform are great ways to educate and establish thought leadership in your industry.
People at the consideration stage, show them your case studies testimonials and present your value propositions to express how they can make you your right choice.
You must create opportunities for lead generation around your content resource, like presenting a meaningful CTA between a blog with high traffic to route leads to landing pages or filling out your form.
Once you ace the game, engaging customers, driving traffic, and probably generating leads won’t be a daunting task anymore.
3. Create gated resources for your manufacturing industry lead generation
With nearly 638,000 manufacturers in the U.S., you need potential edges to surpass the competition.
One efficient way is to leverage gated content to generate leads for your manufacturing business.
It offers users a piece of content in exchange for their contact information.
It’s important to remember that gated content is a means for gathering prospects’ contact information and doesn’t aim to charge money for the content you provide.
ACOUSTICAL SURFACES creates products for soundproofing, noise control, and noise vibration. See how they are smartly using the gated content strategy for lead generation.
Here are some of the most widely used examples of gated content that are ideal for manufacturing businesses.
- eBooks/ whitepapers to improve their knowledge
- Research & annual performance reports for deeper insights
- How-to manuals to overcome prospect’s day-to-day work challenges
- Case studies that discuss critical problems you solved
4. Leverage email marketing
As per Statista’s predictions, the number of email users is set to grow to 4.6 billion in 2025.
If you have ideas to present value to your customers, start up your monthly newsletters to generate potential customers.
Here are some ways to leverage email marketing for lead generation:
- Set personalized campaigns to check the interesting leads from your current email list.
- Set drip campaigns to target qualified leads (MQLs) to create sales opportunities.
- Send exciting and valuable offers that your prospects can’t take their eyes off!
- By adding a “Forward to a Friend with some value offer” link in your email, you can generate more leads with the help of your existing customers.
- Leverage existing clients by sending emails regarding new manufacturers’ products.
Also, by using marketing automation tools and CRM, one can plan email sequences that can be automated and sent based on the user’s interaction with your emails.
For email marketing lead generation best practices, click here.
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5. Master social media to generate high quality leads
As per Statista’s 2021 report, social platforms are used by 82% of the population in the United States.
Most of these users fall under the age group of 18-49 years. So, it doesn’t matter what you produce or sell. Instead, you can target the key players on social media.
But let’s understand this with an example to clarify the subject.
General Electric, which has been in the manufacturing business for more than 125 years, is a classic example of how to reach the masses by giving your product an artistic flair.
The company posts are driven by solid visuals with detailed captions explaining technological innovations behind the same.
In addition, G.E. nails the art of sharing everyday scenes compellingly.
You can also start leveraging these social platforms to attract potential clients by sharing your valuable resources to educate them.
Also, as you become proficient in leveraging these social channels, you can try lead-gen ads.
Here are some tips for you to try with these social platforms as your growth strategy:
- Connect and engage with people to build loyal followership.
- Share valuable content with that information that solves their individual or business issues.
- Drive the traffic of your social media account to your targeted landing pages by adding links to increase lead generation.
- Share links to other exciting industry updates you’ve found online, as your audience will praise you for noticing others’ good work!
6. Leverage the power of newsjacking
Have you noticed how the share prices of many firms skyrocket when a well-known personality tweets about their company?
It gets people to invest in the same thing only because a trusted celebrity personality talks about investing in it.
This affects not only the firm but many other businesses that offer services or products to them.
You can align offers with the same by using tag lines such as “what’s hot” or “trending now.”
Let’s understand the same using an example of Engineering Specialties Inc., which wanted to capitalize on this opportunity on Earth Day and leverage this newsjacking strategy.
Companies today are becoming motivated to follow eco-friendly practices. So, they published a blog on their company’s solar panels and placed a CTA on their live solar panel feed.
Find the image below:
Newsjacking is a well-versed method that can work wonders for your company’s website content, downloadable offers, and blog posts.
7. Leveraging data to alter or change your strategic approach
Leveraging data can help you figure out the psychology of your prospects. You can learn things such as:
- What type of content is getting more engagement?
- What time of the day and which day receives the most engagement from prospects?
- Who are the top, middle, and bottom of your funnel prospects?
- How many leads are generated using ads or web forms or through other forms of gated content?
- Identifying a lead’s stage in the buying journey to plan nurture sequences.
Analytics and Sales intelligence tools can help you track all such information. However, not utilizing the data to improve sales will waste time and money.
Having efficient software like CRM and automation technology that helps you leverage data and streamline your marketing and sales process is essential.
A CRM and marketing automation tool can help to…
- Generate leads directly from the website with custom Web Forms
- Communicate and engage your website visitors 24/4 via chatbot
- Present a 360-degree view of contacts and manage them efficiently
- Score leads automatically to qualify them for manufacturing sales
- Nurture active leads to advance them to the next stage of the sales pipeline
- Automate your repetitive and time-consuming tasks for a speedy workflow
- Provide custom reports to make data-driven decisions
In concise, there are various aspects to which sales and marketing teams of manufacturing businesses can leverage CRM and automation tools.
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8. Explore paid ads for lead generation
In 2021, the amount of money spent on digital lead generation ads in the US alone was 3.05 billion.
If you have more budget, you can leverage lead generation ads.
You can design banner ads or videos that best represent your services using them.
One of the biggest benefits of lead gen ads is that you can generate high-quality and ample leads without consuming much of their time.
It’s because only interested prospects would click on these ads.
Plus, many form fields are pre-populated, gathering information from a prospect’s current social media account.
Manufacturing companies generally prefer 3 types of paid advertising.
1) PPC: Pay-per-click is where you pay for every user who clicks on this ad.
2) PPI: Pay-per-impression is where you have to pay for every 1000 impressions or views your ad receives.
3) Display ads: They are also known as banner ads. It can be considered a visual cousin to PPC and PPI.
Note: PPC and PPI ads can usually be text-based, while Display ads are visually attractive due to illustrations and photos.
9. Say no to corporate jargon
It’s suggestable to share your content while avoiding corporate gobbledygook.
What’s gibberish, you ask?
So, now you get my point.
Gobbledygook is jargon terms and phrases that have lost meaning due to overuse.
Try and avoid the following terms in your content or while describing offers:
- Cutting edge
- Best of breed
The best way to approach your content is to use simpler terms that convey what they should be.
All the strategies mentioned above are tried and tested by experts.
However, the ultimate mantra of lead generation for manufacturers is:
“Try multi-marketing channel approach, invest in automation, analyze progress, keep what works, experiment with new ideas.”
You need to practice and discover the best marketing strategy for high-value deals.
Analyzing what works and what doesn’t is critical to save time and boost your lead generation efforts.
Apart from the above lead generation tactics, you can participate in industry events, promoting manufacturing industry magazines to generate quality leads.
You can implement lead scoring software for automatic lead qualification to get viable leads for your sales team.
It is high time; manufacturing companies should take command of generating industrial leads on their over-dependency on a lead generation company, if any.
Companies offering lead generation services lack in understanding your ideal fit market, buyer persona, and buyer’s journey and thus will generate new leads but of poor quality.
And thus, your sales team will struggle to convert leads generated by the lead gen company.
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